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Prince Charles Finally Weds True Love

Prince Charles (search) and Camilla Parker Bowles (search) were married Saturday in a modest civil ceremony at the 17th century Guildhall, and the second marriage for each was blessed by the Church of England as the royals knelt before Archbishop of Canterbury in a majestic ceremony beneath the soaring arches of the Gothic St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The wedding capped a decades-long love affair that endured the prince's first marriage to Princess Diana and constant tabloid scrutiny.

Following the church blessing, some 800 guests, including Prime Minister Tony Blair, attended a "finger-food" reception hosted by the queen in the apartments of Windsor Castle.

The wedding cake was a single-layered organic fruit cake decorated with roses, thistles and daffodils — a nod to the groom's passion for organic farming. A sword that belonged to King George V, Charles' great-grandfather, was used as a cake knife.

Soon after, the couple left for their honeymoon in Scotland where they are staying in a hunting lodge that once belonged to the prince's grandmother. The car that sped them away had red and blue balloons attached and the words "just married" were written on the back window.

Fashion, as it is at any royal family event, was a point of scrutiny.

At the civil ceremony, the bride was wearing an oyster silk basketweave coat with a herringbone stitch and a matching chiffon dress. She also wore a matching straw and lace hat with feather details.

"She looked absolutely beautiful," said Heidi Griffin, who watched the couple with her two children.

Instead of the military uniform he wore at his first wedding, Charles was in formal morning wear, and the simplicity of the wedding at the brick-and-marble town hall stood in contrast to the pomp and grandeur of the first royal nuptials in St. Paul's Cathedral (search) in London.

For the church blessing, Camilla wore a long, fitted silk porcelain-blue dress and high-collared coat embroidered with gold thread.

At times during the blessing service Prince Charles fidgeted a bit, but his bride was very still. They did not quite speak in perfect unison when praying that they would "grow together in love and peace all the days of our life."

Excited cheers greeted Charles' sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, when the formally attired young men arrived at the Guildhall. William smiled at the crowd, and Harry waved shyly.

Jasmine and Lily of the Valley — known to symbolize the return of happiness — lined the hall where the civil ceremony took place.

Nearly eight years after Princess Diana's death, some have bridled at accepting Parker Bowles as a future queen, seeing her relationship with Charles as the reason his first marriage fell apart.

Camilla takes on Diana's previous status as Princess of Wales but she plans to defer to public sentiment by avoiding using the title and will instead be known as the Duchess of Cornwall.

After the civil ceremony, the couple drove to Windsor Castle in a Rolls-Royce for the blessing ceremony by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at St. George's Chapel, which was attended by Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II. She and her husband, Prince Philip, did not attend the civil ceremony, saying they wanted to honor Charles' wish to keep the wedding "low key."

The blessing included the couple confessing "manifold sins and wickedness" — words from the Book of Common Prayer. They later pledged to be faithful in their marriage. There was no reference to adultery or other specific misdeeds, and such confessions are standard in Anglican wedding blessings. However, the words stood out as Charles wed the woman some see as the cause for the breakup of his marriage to the late Princess Diana.

The blessing ceremony was attended by about 800 guests, including Charles' brothers, Andrew and Edward; his sister, Anne; and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The wedding represents a break in tradition for the middle-aged divorcees who married in a civil ceremony.

"It's up to him who he marries," said Barbara Murray, 41, who camped out in this royal hub overnight with her two daughters to stake out a vantage point to see the couple. "Whoever he chose wouldn't be the same as Diana."

"She broke up their marriage," said Yvonne Williams, 67, who raised a banner that read "Long live the Queen, Diana Forever: King Charles, Queen Camilla — Never."

Security was tight at Windsor, where police snipers dotted rooftops and dozens of sniffer dogs scoured streets.

The wedding has brought a buzz to Windsor, a handsome riverside town 20 miles west of London that has been home to British monarchs for a millennium.

The wedding was postponed by a day so it would not conflict with the funeral of Pope John Paul II (search).

Opinion polls show the majority of British people accept Charles' second marriage but object to the idea of Camilla ever becoming Queen. Over the years Camilla has been ridiculed by the British tabloids, mocked for her looks, seemingly because she is plainer than was Diana.

Some people have expressed reservations about Charles — a future supreme governor of the Church of England — going against its traditional resistance to remarriage of divorcees.

No heir to the throne had previously had a civil wedding, and there was some argument about whether that was legal. The government's chief legal adviser ruled it was, and England's chief registrar subsequently overruled 11 objections to the wedding from members of the public.

It's only a few yards from the royal residence at Windsor Castle to Guildhall, but the couple's journey there has been long and rocky.

Charles met Camilla Shand more than 30 years ago, discovering a shared sense of humor and love of rural life. But the prince sailed off on an eight-month voyage with the Royal Navy without cementing their relationship; in his absence she married Andrew Parker Bowles.

In 1981, the prince, then 32, married 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer in full regal pomp at St. Paul's Cathedral. The beautiful young princess won the nation's heart but didn't hold her husband's.

Within a few years, Charles had resumed his relationship with Parker Bowles.

"There were three of us in that marriage," Diana said later — although she acknowledged affairs of her own.

Many Britons took Diana's view, vilifying Parker Bowles as a royal homewrecker.

Charles' and Parker Bowles' marriages both collapsed — she was divorced in 1995, he in 1996. Andrew Parker Bowles remarried in 1996.

"The People's Princess," Diana died in 1997 when her car crashed in Paris a year after her bitter divorce from Charles.

After her death, Charles and Camilla cautiously began making their relationship public. Their first public appearance together came in 1999. The first public kiss was in 2001. In February, the prince and Parker Bowles announced they would wed.

That was not the end of their troubles.

They had intended to marry at Windsor Castle, but it wasn't licensed as a wedding venue. The ceremony was switched to the more prosaic Guildhall, and then the queen announced she wouldn't be there.

Newspapers sensed a snub, although Buckingham Palace said the monarch wanted to respect the couple's desire for a low-key wedding.

During the blessing ceremony, Windsor Castle was protected by police on horseback, plain-clothes officers and sharpshooters on rooftops. In order to thwart the paparazzi, a large green screen was placed at the top of the main castle wall.

On Thursday, a reporter for British tabloid the Sun said he was able to get inside the castle without a pass or an appointment in a van that contained a brown package with the word "bomb" written on it.

Royal security is notoriously leaky. A comedian dressed as Usama bin Laden crashed Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2003. Later that year, a reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job as a servant at Buckingham Palace and took pictures of the royals' living quarters.

In September, a protester dressed as Batman climbed onto a ledge on the front of Buckingham Palace and remained there for several hours.

On Tuesday, the Sun reported that two intruders had broken into the private area of Windsor Castle on Sunday.

FOX News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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